Fragrance oils extracted from flowers and other plant parts are readily available--but pricey. It's really not necessary to shell out good money for something you can make yourself, especially if you enjoy easy crafts. Extract your own honeysuckle oil in the comfort of your own home with supplies already stocked in your kitchen. This uncomplicated process eliminates the need to distill the honeysuckle oil further, making it safe and ready to use undiluted upon completion.
Things You'll Need
- Heat-proof glass pint jar with tight-fitting lid
- Butter knife
- Vegetable or olive oil
- Cooking thermometer
- Coffee filters or cheesecloth
- Small dark jars or bottles
Cut honeysuckle stems when the blooms are fully opened. The best time of day for this is during the morning hours after the dew has evaporated from the flowers. If there aren't enough mature blooms for your recipe during a single picking, collect them over the next three to five days. Cut the stems when flowers have opened only halfway if they're to be stored. Refrigerate them in a container of water and mist them a couple of times daily until you're ready to use them.
Wash the heat-proof glass pint jar, the lid and a butter knife in hot soapy water. Sterilize them by boiling for about 10 to 20 minutes. Air dry and cool at room temperature.
Pinch the honeysuckle blooms from the stems and leaves. Chop or bruise the flowers so that they'll release as much of their fragrant essence as possible. Fill the jar with them, packing firmly. Pitch the greenery onto your compost heap.
Heat about a cup of vegetable or olive oil to 160 degrees F. Cook and stir constantly for five to 10 minutes. Use a cooking thermometer and watch it carefully. You don't want the oil to reach boiling temperature.
Pour the oil slowly into the chopped flowers, filling the jar. Stir well with the sterilized butter knife to eliminate air bubbles. Cool to room temperature and stir again.
Cap the jar tightly and store in a cool, dark place for five or six weeks.
Strain the honeysuckle oil through a few coffee filters or some cheesecloth. Pour into small dark jars or bottles. Store in a dark, cool location for up to six months. Toss the strained solids onto your compost heap.
Tips & Warnings
- If you feel the quantity of honeysuckle flowers that you have available isn't going to be enough, don't be afraid to supplement. Jasmine and gardenia complement the scent of honeysuckle perfectly.
- If you don't have small dark bottles, cover some sterilized baby food jars completely with masking tape.
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